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Montoya’s Secret wins Vinery Stud Stakes

Leon Corstens might be the senior member of a family training partnership but has bowed to his son Troy after the Group One win of Montoya’s Secret in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill.

A long-time Melbourne foreman for Bart Cummings, Leon Corstens admitted he was reluctant to bring the filly to Sydney on Saturday to run on the heavy track.

But Troy decided they should roll the dice, with a start in the Australian Oaks in two weeks on a possible wet track in mind.

“If it was left to me, we wouldn’t be here,” Corstens said.

But there they were, with Montoya’s Secret ($12) coming with a late run under Noel Callow to beat Nurse Kitchen ($18) by a long head with Harlow Gold ($7) another 1-3/4 lengths third.

“I was getting a bit worried about the 1000 metres,” Corstens said.

“We were going backwards when we should have been going forwards.

“We got a good run after that. Everything worked to plan after that so it was really good.”

Montoya’s Secret’s coming of age as a Group One winner is a timely one for the stable following the retirement during the week of Emirates Stakes winner Awesome Rock.

Callow said the filly had travelled well but shifted out near the line when she appeared a little lost.

“She travelled nice and got onto the right part of the track,” he said.

“I drew a nice barrier so it was pretty hard to stuff up.”

“She just shifted out in the straight.

“She got there and just got a bit lost.

“She had to dig deep but she just wandered that last bit.”

New Zealand Oaks winner Bonneval and Nurse Kitchen are the $6 equal favourites for the Australian Oaks, with Harlow Gold and Montoya’s Secret both at $8.

Foxplay copped the brunt of Montoya’s Secret’s shift near the end of the race, with the $3.80 favourite finishing fourth.

New Zealand filly La Bella Diosa, who created a big impression when she won her first Australian start in the Group Two Surround Stakes, flopped in the Coolmore Classic and failed to handle the ground on Saturday, finishing ninth.

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